Safety Tips in Rome

  • This young thief has a pained expression!!
    This young thief has a pained...
    by EdMorgan
  • Temperature in Rome on October 14, 2014
    Temperature in Rome on October 14, 2014
    by Jefie
  • Scarfs anf selfie sellers near a piazza
    Scarfs anf selfie sellers near a piazza
    by Jefie

Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Rome

  • Rome: Car Rental Return with Full Tank

    by erinaldi Written Aug 24, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We rented a car from Europcar at Fiumicino Airport. We did not get a receipt for a full tank when we returned it. Two weeks after returning home we received two charges: one for refueling and a second for the fuel they claim to have had to replace. Scam, of course, but we have no receipts from the day we last refilled it - time and date and location would allow us to contest the charges. Typical scam that gives all Italians a bad rap.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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  • WheninRome's Profile Photo


    by WheninRome Written Feb 14, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Be sure to take plenty of euros. I found it easiest to pay with cash. A few times we used our credit card, but there was a 3 percent charge each time we used it so we only did so sparingly.

    We brought some American cash that we had converted to euros mid-week. Next time we will convert everything in the U.S. before leaving so we can have lower conversion fees.

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    Vatican Museum lines

    by monica71 Updated Feb 14, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Everybody heard about the long lines in front of the Vatican Museum and every tourist hopes to find a short line when getting there. I can say that we were not among the lucky ones and when we got there the wait was more than 2 hours.

    Most guidebooks tell you to go there around 1pm in the afternoon on Wed and Thu in order to find shorter lines. I guess now the tourists really pay attention to what the guidebooks say and the lines are getting longer and longer on these days too. I could not capture all the line since it was going around the building 2 times, but imagine that the line you see in my pictures is not even half of the actual line we would have had to stand in.

    Since we really did not want to spend 2 hours in line, we decided to book a tour and get inside the museum in about 15 minutes instead of 2 hours. We went with VoxTours (booked the tour when we got to Vatican and saw the lines) and paid 20 Euros per person (plus 5 Euros deposit for the headphones). The tour lasted 2 hours and it pointed out all the important pieces you should not miss while visiting the Vatican museum. You are free to stay longer in the museum if you want and you can also break away from the group if you feel like wandering inside by yourself.

    line in front of Vatican Museum another angle of the long line
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Streets in the ancient part of town

    by monica71 Written Feb 14, 2009

    In the old town almost all the streets are pebbled and narrow. You need to wear a comfortable pair of shoes (flat or orthopedic soles are the best) since you will be doing lots of walking and you really need to focus on the buildings around you instead of every step you make. They can become slippery when raining.

    Traffic is limited in the old part of the city, but you will still see some cars and scooters on the narrow streets. Several times during our vacation we had to find a spot on the narrow street where we could walk forward since there were several cars and scooters parked and blocking the street.

    pedestrian only street this street can get very crowded at times imagine this street at rush hour!
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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  • monica71's Profile Photo

    Public Bathrooms

    by monica71 Written Feb 12, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Public bathrooms are hard to find in Rome. All the tourist places have them, but you really do not want to use them unless you are desperate. They are not very clean and they do have a strong unpleasant smell. If you have to use them, prepare for long lines (especially at Colosseum and Vatican Museum). Make sure you have toilet paper with you (just in case they are out of it) and a hand sanitizer lotion.

    Most restaurants have clean bathrooms that you can use ONLY if you are a customer. They do turn tourists away, so don't be surprised if this happens to you.

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  • Rome "Apartment Argentina" Double Booked

    by Babs2244 Written Oct 12, 2008

    Booking an apartment seemed like a great idea and I found Apartment Argentina located at Piazza Mattei near the Jewish Ghetto in Rome. It was wonderfully described and within walking distance of all Roman highlights. I booked the apartment on 1/17/08 for 9/25/08 to 10/2/08 through & spent 7 months planning/drafting itineraries from this great location. Upon arrival I was informed by that the apt owner "double-booked" the apt and did not care; we were forced to another location (very undesirable and near no restaurants, piazzas, etc). Please do not trust this particular apartment owner (Apartment Argentina @ Piazza Mattei 10) and be leary of booking apartments if this is considered no "big deal" in Rome. With some due respect to the rental agency, they did offer 250 euro discount and free transportation to/from the airport but this did not make up for one miserable week in Rome due to the alternative apartment's awful location and the 45 steps to reach the apartment.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    When in the Sistene.....

    by HispanicYob Written Oct 6, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    ...try not to do what a lot of Romans and tourists do. What do I mean? I mean, taking pictures inside the Sistene Chapel. There's a reason for this. You're inside one of the most protected sites on Earth and not too mention that what's above you is the work of Michaelangelo that he painstakingly labored over for years. Can you imagine the thousands of flashes everyday would slowly do? The guards inside the Sistene mean business as well! They reinforce the no-picture rule big time. Remember, NO NOISE! This includes talking and your cell phones. Try and be respectful inside this place. Unless you want your expensive camera taken away by Vatcian security (which I didn't see when I was there but I'm sure they wouldn't hesitate).

    A secret picture I took of the Last Judgement
    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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  • IanMacPhail's Profile Photo

    Take that receipt.

    by IanMacPhail Updated Apr 25, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When you buy something in a shop or eat in a restaurant you should be given a scrontrino or ricevuta fiscale. Technically YOU can be fined if you leave the premises without one.
    So if you have paid in a shop and think about leaving without the receipt, don`t. Most Italians are strong on this. You`ve probably noticed that your pocket or purse is full of paper receipts when you are in Italy. That`s how it should be! :-)

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    by DAO Updated Apr 12, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Talk about overkill. I saw this very large and heavy sign in a department store near an escalator. It was leaning to the side and could have fallen over and killed someone! I mean, look at the horrendous issues that seem to plague this poor escalator. It even has a few ideas I have never even seen tried before. I mean, this must be a stunt escalator or something. ROME ESCALATORS – BEWARE!

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Family Travel

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  • Private Tour Companies (Rome)

    by chcragg Written Apr 12, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Private Tour Companies (Rome):
    Warning: Unless you're willing to plunk down a couple of grand right away to arrange your tour with Mayta Munson of eternal tourist, you might want to go through another tour operator. I was trying to arrange a tour for some novice traveling friends of mine. Ms. Munson and I exchanged several e-mails trying to arrange the itinerary and to determine the maximum number of people she could take. During the course of our negotiations, 1-6 April 2008, she failed to reply after 6 April. On 11 April, I sent a note to her and she curtly replied on 12 April:

    "I am sorry, I have accepted another booking for .
    I have been dealing with you, as an intermediary, since April 1, answering all your questions.
    If the person who is actually going to do the tour is not ready to confirm at this point with a group of no more than 7 people, she will have to find another solution."

    This confusing note, have you accepted another booking or not???

    Having traveled extensively and used the services of private tour operators, most reputable companies will give you the first chance to book a date if you are in negotiations, prior to booking another party. The key word here is reputable.

    Find another tour operator, there are plenty.

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    If you can afford to buy this frock ...

    by craic Written Apr 6, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    ... at Dior in Via Condotti, don't bother to read this tip.

    While Gillian was visiting she wanted to buy a stack of one hour one euro bus tickets. So she bought ten at a newstand at the top of Via Nazionale, I think it was Via Nazionale. May have been Via Cavour.

    Anyway, she handed them to me because I was in charge of bus tickets - and being a suspicious wench I counted them. Guy in the newstand started to look a bit sick.

    Yes, there were only nine tickets. And yes, he almost instantly handed over another one without a fight.

    It may have been a genuine error. But if the pennies matter to you and you are buying in bulk be sure to check.

    But I have nowhere to wear this frock!

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  • domenicococozza's Profile Photo

    hotel from hell

    by domenicococozza Updated Aug 7, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On a road trip through Italy, we had organised hotels through an agent in UK for one night stopovers. We were booked into various hotels inluding the Hotel Acropoli in Rome. We were told it was a 3 star establishment and breakfast was included in the price. On arrival, we were dumbfounded. This is not a 3 star hotel by any stretch of the imagination. Our room was filthy, the shower leaked and there was mildew everywhere. We did not bother with breakfast but at check out we noticed we were the only couple. Everybody else were groups of young backpackers. It was then we realised the 'Hotel' is in fact a hostel(a very diry hostel)
    Needless to say, on our return to UK we demanded a refund and got it.

    entrance to hades Dining room of the damned

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  • U.S. Seniors Pay More to Visit Italian Sites!

    by Italytraveler Written Jun 12, 2007

    If you are American and 65+ you will pay more than do European Seniors to visit Italian tourist sites, e.g., Coliseum in Rome, Da Vinci's "Last Supper" in Milan, Doges Palace in Venice, Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and others. .

    For Example: the "Last Supper" is €5.50 ($7.37) for European Seniors and €15.00 ($20.10) for Americans. Similar price disparities between tickets for European Seniors and American Seniors appply to the above named sites as well as the Borghese Gallery in Rome and the Art Academy in Venice, and more. Multiply that by all of the sites you will want to visit, not to mention the poor Dollar-Euro exchange rate, and it adds up.

    This biased pricing policy once applied to European seniors who were non-Italian, but the European Court of Justice forced Italy not to discriminate against Europeans several years ago. Yet they still do against Americans and other non-EU seniors.

    Please protest to the Italian Ambassador in Washington: Giovanni Castellaneta, Embassy of Italy, 3000 Whitehaven Street N.W. Washington, D.C. 20008.

    The Ticket Italy website, "" explains the pricing policy in detail (click on "Ticket Types"). But please do NOT use Ticket Italy to order tickets! We tried to use them for tickets to "The Last Supper" in Milan and they failed to notify us prior to our trip that they could not obtain the tickets. Yet, our Milan Hotel could have reserved them if we had asked them to prior to our arival in Milan. Very unprofessional work on the part of Ticket Italy. Do yourself a favor and avoid them completely.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Seniors
    • Historical Travel

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  • craic's Profile Photo

    Survival of the Fittest

    by craic Updated Jun 11, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    But please be on top of your game when you visit Rome. Train as if you were going to hike the Milford Track or the Appalachian Trail or attempt the North face of K2.
    Rome is a difficult and exhausting city.
    Many of the people who came to visit me - I am sorry people but it is true - were not ready for such difficulty.
    It gets stinking hot. It gets freezing cold.
    If there is sciopero (strike) you will have to walk home.
    I was visiting a friend, a local, and let the last bus go and he rang a cab - sciopero!
    I had to walk home but it was in fact very pleasant because I can take a 5 k hike especially if it is past the Colosseo - and when there is sciopero there are always plenty of people on the streets doing the same thing - and I was almost disappointed when I got to Largo Argentina and saw the tram was running.
    To go to the Vatican Museum and see the Sistine Chapel is a hike up stairs and down dale (once! you have negotiated the legendary queue) and then you are shoulder to shoulder as if you have been packed into a cattle truck while two gorgeous Italian guys stand up by the altar shouting at you - SHHHH! BE QUIET! NO TALKING! NO PHOTOGRAPHS! - as everyone merrily talks and photographs around you.
    There are thieves everywhere, there are cons and scams and blatant over chargings enough to freeze your blood.
    I had got to not look like a tourist but while my mother and my sister were there - I am sorry but you did look like tourists - twice I had cynical waiters vanish with my fifty euro note for a 30ish euro bill and act as if the rest was a tip.
    A ringing and succinct "Il resto, per favore" got the change back on a plate - and no tip for the wait person - but it was so blatant!
    But mostly it is the walking. Up hill and down dale. Please be fit and ready for anything.
    When you come to Rome - think - Survival of the Fittest.
    That is what Rome is all about.
    And that is why I love her.

    You may need need a minder if you are unfit

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  • salvamea4545's Profile Photo

    Fruit Stands…watch out!

    by salvamea4545 Updated Jun 5, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We had very bad experiences with fruit stand (one in Rome and another one in Siena) but just because we weren’t aware of the costumes. So here is a piece of information for you: We were trying to buy fruit and my husband picked one peach and the guy went ballistic screaming in Italian NO SE TOCA! NO SE TOCA! (Translation: no to be touched!) he grabbed the fruit from my husband's hand and turned his back and didn’t serve us! Apparently you are not to touch fruit in Italy…you should wait for the guy to serve you!

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